The "Tigers" project addresses causes for success or failure of ICT-related developments in the present EU Member States, with the ultimate objective of drawing conclusions regarding policies for the Candidate Countries. The importance of these policies cannot be underestimated, as we talk about the accession of 13 countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey) with about 170 million inhabitants.
The project takes place within the framework of the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO). It is sponsored by the ICT unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville (Spain) which is part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. The Tigers project is led by MERIT, the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (The Netherlands). Other partners are the Austrian Research Centers GmbH, Atlantis Consulting S.A. (Greece), and The Circa Group (Ireland).
ITAS is responsible for the analysis of the development of the semiconductor production firms in the Dresden region. The best-known companies located in that region are Infineon, producing, e.g., memory chips, and AMD, in particular producing microprocessors. First results show that it has been possible to develop a world-class semiconductor production cluster. The investment decisions after the German reunification were substantially influenced by the available skills of engineering scientists and operators, who had acquired these skills when producing semiconductors in the former GDR. The cluster is growing faster than expected in terms of employment. The sustainability of this development and its meaning for the Candidate Countries will be investigated, mainly through expert interviews.
The project partners analyze ICT-related developments in Austria, Flanders, and Greece. Also the "Celtic Tiger" of IT development in Ireland will be investigated, hence the name of the project.